Since I’ve been working on the new themed paintings this year, I have been focused on the concept behind them, and know that its a theme that will be popular with a lot of people. The subject matter was one that I felt was right for all sorts of people, both those who lived in the country and cities, old and young, from all walks of life. I wanted to paint pictures that would make people feel as happy to look at these paintings as I did to create them. Because art should make you happy, I think.
This is the first unveiling of these pictures online. I have shown them to various people who have been to my house since I started painting them earlier this year, and although there are only a few in number who have seen them, they all seemed to have the same reaction, whether they were in their 60’s, 70’s, 50’s, 40’s, 20’s, or teenager, male or female. They all LIKED them.
Even though these pictures differ in various ways, they all have the same basic theme in them. And because of the subject matter it will keep me challenged to paint the different textures that the pictures are depicting, which is always good, if I am inspired, I will keep up the happy motivation of the creation of them!
I’ve always loved gardens, as did my Mum who taught me at a young age of the delight and joy of gardens and gardening. The house I was brought up in as a teenager had a third of an acre of garden, part of which had a small wood backing onto open fields. I remember the pale pink of the cherry trees in spring, and the roses full of colour in summer. The second house I lived in when I was married also had a third of an acre of garden (wrestled in part from a rough field full of tenacious dock leaves and thistles!) where we used to grow our own vegetables, and soft fruit, keep chickens as well as have a large pond (that I remember digging out by hand with a spade!) a dove cote with pretty white doves, and wide flower borders. I used to love walking around the garden, in daylight and twilight, and all the seasons of the year watching as the flowers sent their first green buds up, created their fabulous finery of flowers, and then changed in the golden autumn when the plants turned into a riot of colour and then as they died back to the cooling earth, or showed their beauty again under patches of frost.
I also know that its a lot of work to create a garden. I’ve spent many hours in a hot bath enjoying soaking my aching muscles after working digging in the garden. But I also loved knowing I had created it from scratch to enjoy the scents, and sight of it when I had chance to relax in it.
Now I am middle-aged I have a far smaller garden but even though its a lot easier to maintain it is still full of colour all year round, and I adore sitting watching the dappled light through the trees on the lawn, and seeing the flowers in the pots on the patio come to vibrant life through the summer months.
So, the pictures that I have been inspired to paint have been of the sort of garden you want to sit in, and sit and ponder, or just sit quietly, with a good book, or cup of tea, or a mug of hot coffee, or glass of chilled wine in your hand. And I also wanted the pictures to have somewhere to sit within them, because the benches are important. They are about sitting and sharing that space with someone you love, which might be your own company, or it might be your kids, your mother, or father, grandparent, brother, or sister, your best friend, your lover, husband, or wife. It may even be someone who is no longer alive, whether its a beloved family member, a close friend, or someone you will never meet in real life. Its your fantasy to fill that space with whoever you want. Whoever makes you happy.
All the pictures are of semi-formal English gardens featuring water, flowers, shrubs, trees, and stonework. And somewhere to sit, to enjoy the peace and tranquillity of the garden. The water is the important part for me, its the joy of sitting by water that creates the tranquillity.
I also wanted the pictures to have a lot of focus in some of the places, but be very hazy and out of focus in others. Which is why acrylics and all their vibrant colours on canvas was the best way to depict them I felt. I could get the bright colours, and fine details where I needed it, and the haziness in the background the best way I could using acrylics. I absolutely love painting them. And the theme that I call them is “Happy Gardens” as that is how they make me feel!
So, what do you think?